Bushmen Of The Far Western Kalahari

Loincloths & Beetles

A lot of things are said about the mysterious Zu/’hoasi Bushmen of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert; that they are a separate species, as no man could possibly live in such a harsh environment; that they can change themselves into animals; that they have an extrasensory perception of the environment. Most of this is pure folklore, and this three-day cultural safari, deep into the Western Kalahari, offers a fascinating insight into one of the most unique cultures in the world.

For many years, it has been impossible to offer such a trip due to the threat of exploitation. Now, with the help of a community project, the traditional Bushmen experience is a dignified and culturally-sensitive one. You’ll meet the community elders, walk with the young Bushmen through the desert, and have the rare opportunity to witness a ‘trance dance.’ If you have a keen interest in the world’s civilisations, this cultural expedition is a truly unmissable experience.

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Price from:

$4,420

Duration:

5 days/4 nights

Departure Dates:

January to April

Min / Max Group Size

2 people / 14 people

Trip Begins / Ends

Maun / Maun

Includes Mobile Camping:

Yes

Details, Details

Highlights

  • Immerse yourself into the fascinating traditional culture of the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, and learn how they have adapted to the extraordinary environment.
  • Visit a Bushmen village and meet the elders of the community.
  • Spend time with the women, and observe how beads are made from ostrich shells, and watch as they perform the drum, or melon dance.
  • Walk with Bushmen trackers and search for poison grub beetles and the sanseveria leaves and branches they use for hunting.
  • Accompany the hunters as they track, stalk, and hopefully hunt down their wild quarry using traditional bows and arrows.
  • Experience the magic of a ‘trance dance’, a deeply spiritual experience that involves the healer going into a state of semi-consciousness and making contact with the clan’s spirit guides.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: $4420 per person for 4 nights, based on 4 people travelling ($1105 per person, per night). Please enquire for other rates and pricing information.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, we offer three and four night packages; four nights is our recommended length of stay and three nights is our minimum length of stay.

Extension ideas: Combine a trip to the bushmen of the western Kalahari with a few nights at Jack’s Camp or Camp Kalahari for the ultimate desert exploration.

When to Go & What to Pack

This trip can be booked from January to April in Botswana’s ‘green season.’ This is our summer and you can expect medium to high temperatures in the heat of the day. And of course what makes the season green is the rain, so please come prepared for a couple of showers – a light, waterproof jacket, spare socks and waterproof shoes are always a good idea! Other than that, we recommend the usual safari kit – comfortable, loose and neutral-coloured clothing, lots of suncream, sturdy shoes, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent and a head torch. You know the drill!

Our Guides

A cultural safari is a sensitive one, and we know the difference a good guide can make to the experience. Many of our guides are from the local communities themselves, and whilst they might not be Bushmen, they understand the quirks and rhythms of life in such an extraordinary environment and have an innate understanding of the culture. The guides have met the Bushmen many times before and are sensitive to their needs and wants, just as they are to yours as a guest. They will help you understand the Bushmen way of life without ‘getting in the way’ and are there to facilitate and add to your time with the Bushmen. And of course, it’s also fascinating to discuss your guide’s background and upbringing for a different perspective of the culture and way of life in Botswana – information that they will gladly share with you.

 

Highlights

  • Immerse yourself into the fascinating traditional culture of the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, and learn how they have adapted to the extraordinary environment.
  • Visit a Bushmen village and meet the elders of the community.
  • Spend time with the women, and observe how beads are made from ostrich shells, and watch as they perform the drum, or melon dance.
  • Walk with Bushmen trackers and search for poison grub beetles and the sanseveria leaves and branches they use for hunting.
  • Accompany the hunters as they track, stalk, and hopefully hunt down their wild quarry using traditional bows and arrows.
  • Experience the magic of a ‘trance dance’, a deeply spiritual experience that involves the healer going into a state of semi-consciousness and making contact with the clan’s spirit guides.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: $4420 per person for 4 nights, based on 4 people travelling ($1105 per person, per night). Please enquire for other rates and pricing information.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, we offer three and four night packages; four nights is our recommended length of stay and three nights is our minimum length of stay.

Extension ideas: Combine a trip to the bushmen of the western Kalahari with a few nights at Jack’s Camp or Camp Kalahari for the ultimate desert exploration.

When to Go & What to Pack

This trip can be booked from January to April in Botswana’s ‘green season.’ This is our summer and you can expect medium to high temperatures in the heat of the day. And of course what makes the season green is the rain, so please come prepared for a couple of showers – a light, waterproof jacket, spare socks and waterproof shoes are always a good idea! Other than that, we recommend the usual safari kit – comfortable, loose and neutral-coloured clothing, lots of suncream, sturdy shoes, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent and a head torch. You know the drill!

Our Guides

A cultural safari is a sensitive one, and we know the difference a good guide can make to the experience. Many of our guides are from the local communities themselves, and whilst they might not be Bushmen, they understand the quirks and rhythms of life in such an extraordinary environment and have an innate understanding of the culture. The guides have met the Bushmen many times before and are sensitive to their needs and wants, just as they are to yours as a guest. They will help you understand the Bushmen way of life without ‘getting in the way’ and are there to facilitate and add to your time with the Bushmen. And of course, it’s also fascinating to discuss your guide’s background and upbringing for a different perspective of the culture and way of life in Botswana – information that they will gladly share with you.

 

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrival in the Western Kalahari

You’ll arrive into the Western Kalahari by plane, and transfer to a remote camping spot deep in the ancestral gathering lands of the Zu/’hoasi. In the afternoon, there’s time to meet the elders of the community, before returning to camp for your first night under the stars.

Days 2, 3 & 4: Overnight in the Western Kalahari

The next few days are about immersing yourself completely into the Bushmen culture. You’ll walk with the men in the bush and learn about the uses of the plants, cook with the ladies over an open fire (and then sample your wares!), learn how to make jewellery from ostrich eggs, and witness the traditional dances and rituals. Your time will culminate with a hunt during which you’ll track, stalk and (hopefully!) hunt down wild quarry using traditional bows and arrows.

Day 5: Depart from the Western Kalahari

You’ll leave the community behind in the morning and make your way back to Maun, or to your next camp.

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Accommodations

You’ll be sleeping in traditional walk-in Meru tents, each of which exudes an old-fashioned charm. The beds are replete with cool and crunchy cotton sheets, feather bedding, and hot water bottles, and all tents have their own private bathrooms with flush loos and hot bucket showers. There are no electrical facilities available on our mobile safaris, but camera batteries can be charged using a 12-volt car battery. In the kitchen, we’re renowned for our delicious, fresh and original menus. Our plated meals look as delicious as they taste, and our afternoon teas are particularly decadent – and always a favourite! We do ask that you inform our reservations staff of any dietary requirements prior to travel, as food supplies can be hard to obtain in such a remote location.

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